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Giving

Donate today, as a statement of support for the goals and programs of the YWCA.

More than 92% of all funds received are used for program expense,
your investment will make a difference!

 


Donate  -  Act  -  Connect

Give a Gift that Keeps on Giving – Ensure a strong start in life for all children

 

Natalie Santoro is a busy lady. She’s a small business owner--Natalie and her brother own four Dunkin Donuts stores—and became a new mom recently with the adoption of her two foster children. She came to the YWCA looking for the highest quality day care and found that and so much more.

“When I came to the YWCA's Children's Learning Center, they were welcoming, warm and down to earth. There is a nurturing environment here and a deep concern for the welfare of children and their needs,” Natalie says. “The staff really helped me—I’m a new, older parent and they have a lot of experience. They shared with me their knowledge, encouragement and support – it’s been a real win- win.”

The YWCA also offered Natalie’s multi-cultural family a place where they felt they belonged. “I needed a program that was reflective of us and inclusive. There’s every nationality here,” she notes appreciatively.

Natalie and her brother have been supporters of the YWCA. “We’ve been blessed and like to give back wherever we can,” Natalie says. “I want to help the YWCA as they help others on their journey.”
 


You Can Make A Difference

Lena is a woman who projects a quiet humility and fortitude.  After 35 years of substance abuse, incarceration and estrangement from her family, Lena resolved to get her life back on track.  YWCA’s Awakenings program at the Women’s Residence provided the structure for Lena to do just that.  “When I was in jail, I heard about YWCA’s Awakenings program: it’s a 12-month 7 day a week program, with classes in nutrition, computers, breast cancer awareness, all sorts of things.  I had tried everything else; the judge allowed me to give it a shot.”

Lena fully immersed herself in the program, attending meetings seven days a week.  “I sat up front and did everything the counselors wanted me to do.  Then I started helping out, serving lunch, making coffee, learning the things I had forgotten.”  Her dedication paid off:  she has been substance free for two years.  Still, she never misses a meeting.  “I’m a chair person in my meetings and I’m going to be treasurer.  These people respect me, they see a lot of things that I haven’t seen in myself in a long time.  They give me a pat on the back, and I realize I can give myself a pat on the back, too.”

In the middle of Lena’s journey towards sobriety, she received a terrible blow: a breast cancer diagnosis.  She attributes her first seeking medical care for a suspicious lump to YWCA’s Encore program. Fortunately, her prognosis is good.  “It’s been very scary but I have the best doctor in the world.”

Lena has a lot to stay healthy for:  she has re-established her relationship with her children and grandchildren and has hope for the future. “I’ve accomplished something in two years here that I never had before.  Now I have choices.”
 


Give the Gift of Hope


Cadeem Gibbs is a 24-year old, African American man whose life became intertwined with the Juvenile Justice System during his teen years.  He has been directly impacted by the current New York State law that prosecutes adolescents as adults and he came to tell his story at the YWCA’s annual Stand Against Racism.   

As a youth, Cadeem was referred to Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry, as a result of juvenile offenses.  Cadeem states, “When I was 17, I was sentenced to a prison term of six years that I served in adult prison. Since my release it’s been extremely hard to reintegrate into society in a positive way. The experiences I had in the adult prison system will haunt me forever.” Nevertheless, he was able to push through and successfully graduated from The Children’s Village Harlem Justice Community Program.  From there, Cadeem enrolled into LaGuardia Community College, and has subsequently held positions as Deputy Field Director of the John Liu for Mayor Campaign; and as an Academic Counseling Intern at the College Initiative, a community based organization that creates pathways out of the criminal justice system into college and beyond.   In addition, Cadeem has been featured in many public speaking engagements and continues to use his story to impact others in a positive way.

In a recent conversation with the YWCA Director of Racial Justice, Cadeem shared that he continues to grapple with the stigma that early incarceration has had on his life and his ability to move forward.  He remains hopeful.

It takes courage, compassion and commitment to change lives and create impact.   IT TAKES YOU. 
 


#Giving December 2015


The YWCA makes this wish come true through our joint Special Programs/Camp Funkist inclusion program for children with special needs.  Stephanie and Michael Bellantoni have four children, ages 5-10, who are a whirlwind of energy and curiosity: they have three sons and a daughter, Jessica, who has Downs Syndrome. The Bellantoni family first became familiar with the YWCA when their sons attended pre-school and Jessica would visit regularly to drop off or pick up her brothers. Last spring Special Programs Director Jim Sullivan reached out to Stephanie to let her know that the YWCA was piloting a program at Camp Funkist, the YWCA’s day camp, to integrate kids with special needs. Stephanie describes her daughter Jessica's experience at camp last summer: “She had a counselor who drew other kids to her, and that helped Jessica be part of the group.  All of the counselors included Jessica in a way that emphasized how she was like other children, not how she was different. They really got it. We really see the mission of the YWCA, ‘Eliminating Racism and Empowering Women’ put into practice here.” Adds Michael, “To us, the mission is all about inclusion.”
 


#Giving Tuesday 2015

Imagine a world where all children are given the same opportunities to learn and advance regardless of their race, gender or economic status.  The YWCA helps turn this dream into a reality by inspiring African American and Latina girls to be “bold, brilliant and better than they were the day before” through our Girls Empowered through Meaningful Support (GEMS) program. Yanna joined GEMS as a tenth grader, became the recipient of the first GEMS college scholarship(funded by our Board of Directors and donors like you), and is now pursuing a degree in Journalism at Westchester Community College.  Yanna reflects back on her experience: “I remember when I was in GEMS seeing the older girls come back to talk about college and thinking ‘that’s so cool.’ Now I can do that for the girls there now.  I wouldn’t have the opportunities I have now if it weren’t for the YWCA GEMS program.”

 



Donors provide an important role in our work to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

For over 80 years, the YWCA has been “opening doors and building dreams” for thousands of Westchester residents.   It began in a small way in 1929 with the formation of a girls club.  Next followed the purchase of a home rented out to women in-need. Today, the YWCA Residence is renovated, upgraded with green technologies and expanded to house 193 women.

At our Activity Center, over 4,000 Westchester County residents are enriched each week by our array of programs from day care to gymnastics. Thousands of children participate in the YWCA’s early care and education programs, summer camps, fitness, aquatics and gymnastics programs. Adults enjoy our fitness center and classes; they participate in parent/child activities as well as special lectures and events.

However, the YWCA is more than a fitness center, a swimming pool, and a classroom. It is a place where friends and families can learn and share experiences together. We are committed to advocating for and providing services that strengthen the health and well being of our community, especially for women and children in need. The YWCA offers:

  • a broad diverse community
  • youth programs
  • a free place to talk for at-risk adolescents
  • free breast cancer education and referrals
  • an affordable residence for low income women
  • a safe place for visitation of children and their non-custodial parents
  • support for abused women
  • programs for people with developmental disabilities
  • a nurturing learning environment

These programs and services are not simply recreational - many of them help save lives from teaching a child how to swim to providing critical health care screening.  It is a place where adolescent girls are encouraged to believe in themselves, teenage mothers are supported in their efforts to finish high school, and the developmentally disabled can train for the Special Olympics. The YWCA also provides one of the only affordable housing venue for women in White Plains. Without the YWCA, a majority of the women currently living at the Residence would be homeless.

We strive to keep all of programs affordable so that working parents have a place to send their children that is safe, fun and educational. The YWCA’s Annual Fund plays a critical role in helping us bridge the gap between revenue generated by fees and grants so that we can offer scholarships and waivers for families that cannot afford to attend otherwise and to support key mission based programs. 

Annual Fund: Supports ongoing and program needs from supplies, books to special activities. 

Scholarship Fund: Tuition support for preschoolers and youth in our early childhood, after school, camp, swimming, gymnastics, and fitness programs.

Building Fund: For capital improvements to support classroom and general facility needs.

YWCA Residence Fund: To ensure that low-income women have a safe, affordable place to go in times of need.

To make a gift to the YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester, contact the Director of Fundraising and Communications at 914-949-6227 ext. 147 or via email.
Your gift can help change a life!


Click here to donate online today.

Consider designating your gift to the Residence Fund. or YWCA Scholarship Fund. With your help we can ensure that…

  • Parents, faced with major medical bills for one of their children, can still send all three of their preschoolers to the YWCA;
  • Sixty low-income children from the Lois Bronz Children’s Center have a chance to experience the joys of tumbling, and learn movement and poise in our gymnastics department;
  • A kindergartener can overcome her tremendous fear of the water, taking swim lessons in our after school classes and at our summer camp. 

Annual fund scholarship gifts strengthen YWCA programs and assure that we can maintain diversity in our classrooms from our summer camp to our child care center.

Your gift will give a young girl or boy a day of swimming, crafts, sports, nature and more. S/he will be surrounded by friends and caring staff and will create memories that will last forever.

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